What is Arnold Schwarzenegger doing making bigger news than ever? This guy was
yesteryear. For me, he has built-in nostalgia. I recall an interview I did with him in Chicago in
1982. It began:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, budding film stars, puffs on his pipe like a banker on
holiday and sends leisurely little clouds of smoke in the air. “Let me tell you something,” he says.
“‘Conan the Barbarian’ is the first movie I can watch myself in. I never could before.” For a former
Mr. Universe, accustomed to scrutinizing himself in mirrors with the professional vanity of a body
builder, that must be an embarrassing admission — though to judge from his most recent TV role
as Mickey Hargitay in “The Jayne Mansfield Story,” it is not difficult to believe. Yet
Schwarzenegger tosses off the remark with a certain pride.
Now he’s taken seriously as a candidate for California governor?
And what about Bill Murray? I’ve admired him for years, mainly for his subversive
sense of humor. Now he’s being touted for an Oscar nod, long denied him, for the
“revelation” of his “subtle, aching, witty
performance?” (Free registration required.) I
recall an interview I did with him in Chicago in 1981. It began:
When George Hamilton went on a publicity tour several years ago for “Love
at First Bite,” he took along his Count Dracula cape and at each stop climbed out of a
coffin. Bill Murray doesn’t have to go to that length for his new film “Stripes.” He simply
has to roll out of bed. At the Pump Room the other day, Murray looked less like he had just
stepped off a plane from New York than out of his starring role as Winger, a sad sack rescued
from civilian life by the Army. He was lunching at the VIP table with the white telephone and
wore scuffed sneakers, creased pants and a sweater that barely hid the design on his T-shirt.
Day-old stubble darkened his chin. His red-rimmed eyes were bleary from lack of
sleep. When the waitress in the tuxedo jacket lit his cigarette, behind her gracious smile seemed to
lurk the thought: “We’re all kidding, aren’t we?”
On top of that, I see <
STRONG>Yoko Ono may go naked for
peace today in Paris. I recall an article in an avant-garde
literary magazine I edited — this goes back to 1968 — that led off with a photo of her in a nude
happening by Jean-Jacques Lebel at an underground film festival in Belgium. There she is,
unidentified and full frontal, competing for the title of “Miss Festival.” It’s satire, of course. One
of the contestants, with a luscious body, wears a sign: “Hors concours” (meaning
“Disqualified” or, more to the point, “No contest”). Yoko’s sign reads: “No. 9” — and she’s
holding it sideways.
All this makes me feel like Rip Van Winkle. I think I’ll go take a nap.